Demand a racial complaint tracking system at Williamson County Schools!

Demand a racial complaint tracking system at Williamson County Schools!

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Jada Murriel started this petition to Williamson County Board of Education

Turning a blind eye to racism is too common of an occurrence here in Williamson County Schools. Time and time again, the administration fails to protect its students from systemic racism, all while undermining statements from students who come forward with their experiences of racism at these schools. The example set by Williamson County Schools and their administration is influencing impressionable students, and it echoes the racial inequality and injustice being felt across the country.


In 2018, a Cultural Competency Committee was created to deter racism within WCS. A year after this committee was formed, Sunset Middle School made headlines when two teachers gave their students an assignment to pretend their families owned slaves. That same year and at that same school, students linked arms and formed a human chain to prevent non-white students from passing. These instances clearly demonstrate that the Cultural Competency Committee is insufficient and that we must do more to prevent such occurrences from happening. 


That is why we have created this petition: to demand the implementation of a racial complaint tracking system. This system could be housed on the WCS website as an online forum where students can anonymously send their complaints. To encourage accountability, the forum should be easily accessible and publicly viewable, while the details of the complaint should be anonymous and hidden from view. Not only do students need a space to feel comfortable to voice their complaints; they also need reassurance that such complaints will be elevated and addressed. Similar systems have been implemented by schools across the country, but if these complaints are not actually addressed, such systems fail their students. Therefore, the implementation of such a system should also include an assigned point person responsible for tracking complaints and ensuring they are addressed. This would not only hold administration officials accountable for handling complaints, but it would also ensure that students voicing complaints have a dedicated contact person. 


According to the Tennessean, parents have been asking for the implementation of such a system since last year. Now is the time to let the WCS administration know this is not a matter of a want but a NECESSARY system that NEEDS to be put in place in Williamson County schools. The previous superintendent, Dr. Looney, was quoted saying, “I’m not going to tear the whole system down and change all the processes because two teachers in the district made a bad decision.” However, current superintendent, Jason Golden, said in reference to when a discrimination report is given, “We demand of ourselves action.” We hope you will sign this petition and join us in challenging Mr.Golden’s WORDS into ACTION. We refuse to repeat the mistakes of our past, and as alumni of Franklin High School, we want to be able to say we’re proud of attending such a school. Parents have tried to get this system implemented for years now to no avail. Now is the time to band together and get it done. Let us be the change we want to see in our communities. 

 

The following are testimonies from fellow alumni and teachers accounting their experiences with racial injustice in Williamson County schools. Thank you to Alaina Krakowiak, Alicia Johnson, and Dearest WCS for providing an online outlet where we can hear their stories :


https://ourvoicesforchange.wixsite.com/ourvoices?fbclid=IwAR1CnaSIsgW7qj4Z_d906FeAUzyn0BntzW3D2GuPiL7nTua96kjm3qLu8q8

Anonymous testimonies

Dearest WCS instagram page 


*Anonymous is used as an alias to protect the identity of the testimonies presented in the text as there should be no bias.

Pre-Populated Email to WCS Board of Education


We have also curated this pre-populated email to send to the members of the Williamson County Board of Education. We encourage all who have signed the petition to email the members in order to further push for this complaint system to be implemented. 


Copy and paste the email below, and send it to the email address at the bottom of this site: 

https://www.wcs.edu/domain/1163

 

Dear WCS Board Members,


I am writing to you as a [student, teacher, alumna, parent of a student, concerned citizen] to insist that the Williamson County School District craft a comprehensive plan to address systemic racism, for example by (i) enforcing the “zero tolerance” bullying policy in situations of racism, (ii) including curricula that educates students on the continued, systemic racism of Black and Indigenous Peoples of color, (iii) require anti-racist training for students, teachers, and staff, and (iv) implement a racial complaint system, whereby students can anonymously send complaints of racially motivated bullying. 


According to the Tennessean, parents have been calling for action to address systemic racism in Williamson County Schools for years. Now is the time to acknowledge these requests, and work toward fostering a kinder and more just environment in our schools.


Sincerely,

[Name]

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At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!